The acquisition was ultimately driven by customer demand, after Ligner received feedback that it “made sense” to integrate the companies, he tells BioPharma-Reporter at Bio International 2023.
“What we want to bring to our customer through this merger is better service and a stronger company that can collaborate better. We now have a greater footprint to achieve this,” he says.
“The acquisition makes sense because customers buy the two product lines and they want simplification on the supply chain. In addition, the products are very complementary.
“Now you don’t have two commercial people calling the customers – so you can redeploy people according to a smaller territory, meaning they can go deeper and provide better service.”
Ligner also emphasises the importance of scale, commenting “the customer must be served the same way if he’s in China, New Zealand, Switzerland or Vietnam”.
To achieve this scale, collaborating across portfolios is essential, which requires a strong digital presence, something Ligner admits was not a strength of Cytiva pre-acquisition.
“How do you bring digital across a portfolio? Pall is very well known for tangential flow filtration (TFF). Well, that was not Cytiva’s strong suit, we’re more bioreactors or downstream chromatography," he says.
Therefore, Ligner believes the acquisition has enhanced Cytiva’s proposition and ultimately made the company more appealing to customers.
“What the majority of our customers want when they are developing a new molecule or new therapy – is a partner that is strong, dependable and will be here for a long time,” he says.
“Cytiva has that history and breath, and by combining it with Pall’s unique technology – we can leverage it at the global level and put muscles behind it.”
In 2019, Cytiva was acquired for $21.4 billion by medical giant Danaher, which has given the life sciences firm the ability to reinvest “organically and inorganically” Ligner adds.
“We've been part of Danaher for three years now and we already made six highly strategic acquisitions, from aseptic filling to precision nano to digital among others. This is not only very attractive to our customers but also for the talent. In order to retain talent, you have to fuel innovation.”
In terms of future acquisitions and growth, Ligner is “constantly listening to the industry” and evaluating key trends.
In fact, the company recently published its BioPharma Resilience Index, a deep-dive analysis of how the biopharma industry is performing across five key pillars: supply chain resilience, talent pool, R&D ecosystem, manufacturing agility, and government policy and regulation.
The report aims to understand the challenges and future opportunities confronting the industry.
“Very often, the strategy in the acquisitions we are making is guided by our customers tapping us on the shoulder and telling us – either they like a new technology, it is still emerging, or maybe it is not robust enough or there is more investment to do," Ligner says.
“Is the future in genomic medicines? Is it mRNA delivered with a lipid nanoparticle? You really need to see the future and be aware of what is happening.”